Antimated Geography: Internet Archive Television News Archive

This map shows on a single map every location mentioned in all half million hours of the IA TV News archive. You can immediately see the areas that get the most and the least attention. Areas that are darker and redder have more mentions, while those that are a duller yellow and more transparent or smaller are mentioned less. Immediately you can see the areas of the world that are the centers of American television news attention and those that are neglected.

You can zoom into the map and click on any location and a popup window will appear. Click on the "View Shows" link on the popup to open a new browser window that will run a search for mentions of that location and give you a graphical overview of its television news coverage. You can use the search box at the top right to type in the name of a location of interest and jump right to that location.

Even more excitingly, if you have a modern browser, you should see that the map is animating as the time slider on the bottom of the page moves. For each day the map will show you every location mentioned across all of the broadcasts that day. It?s a powerful way to see how news attention shifts from day to day and to get a feel for the daily ebbs and flows of the media?s geographic coverage.

To see the animation more clearly, click on the "Visible Layers" dropdown in the upper-right of the map and uncheck the "Static" entry. That will turn off the static heatmap and leave just the animation visible. Now as the animation plays you can see the daily changes in geographic attention very clearly. You can zoom into the map to see a particular area more clearly and you can use the "pause" button on the left of the time slider and then manually move the time slider if you want to more clearly see how things are changing during a certain time period. Note that the animated map is not clickable, so you?ll have to turn the Static map back on to be able to click on a location to see television coverage of it.

Keep in mind as you delve into this map that you're going to find quite a few errors. Those range from errors in the underlying closed captioning ("two Paris of shoes") to locations that are paired with onscreen information (a mention of "Springfield" while displaying a map of Massachusetts on the screen). Thus, as you click around, you're going to find that some locations work great, while others have a lot more error, especially small towns with common names.

What you see here represents our very first experiment with unlocking the geography of television news and required bringing together a number of cutting-edge technologies that are still very much active areas of research. While there is still lots of work to be done, we think this represents a tremendously exciting prototype for new ways of interacting with the world's information by organizing it geographically and putting it on a map where it belongs!